I have called by name Bezaleel - That is, I have particularly appointed this person to be the chief superintendent of the whole work. His name is significant, בצלאל betsal -el, in or under the shadow of God, meaning, under the especial protection of the Most High. He was the son of Uri, the son of Hur, the son of Caleb or Chelubai, the son of Esron, the son of Pharez, the son of Judah. See 1 Chronicles 2:5, 1 Chronicles 2:9, 1 Chronicles 2:18, 1 Chronicles 2:19, 1 Chronicles 2:20, and see Clarke's note on Exodus 17:10.
Exodus 35:30-35. This solemn call of Bezaleel and Aholiab is full of instruction. Their work was to be only that of handicraftsmen. Still it was Yahweh Himself who called them by name to their tasks, and the powers which they were now called upon to exercise in their respective crafts, were declared to have been given them by the Holy Spirit. Thus is every effort of skill, every sort of well-ordered labor, when directed to a right end, brought into the very highest sphere of association.
There appears to be sufficient reason for identifying Hur, the grandfather of Bezaleel, with the Hur who assisted Aaron in supporting the hands of Moses during the battle with Amalek at Rephidim Exodus 17:10, and who was associated with Aaron in the charge of the people while Moses was on the mountain Exodus 24:14. Josephus says that he was the husband of Miriam. It is thus probable that Bezaleel was related to Moses. He was the chief artificer in metal, stone, and wood; he had also to perform the apothecary‘s work in the composition of the anointing oil and the incense Exodus 37:29. He had precedence of all the artificers, but Aholiab appears to have had the entire charge of the textile work Exodus 35:35; Exodus 38:23.
Wisdom, understanding, Knowledge - Or, that “right judgment in all things” for which we especially pray on Whitsunday; the perceptive faculty; and experience, a practical acquaintance with facts.
To devise cunning works - Rather, to devise works of skill. The Hebrew phrase is not the same as that rendered “cunning work” in respect to textile fabrics in Exodus 26:1.
And the cloths of service - Rather, And the garments of office; that is, the distinguishing official garments of the high priest. The three kinds of dress mentioned in this verse appear to be the only ones which were unique to the sanctuary. They were:
(1) The richly adorned state robes of the high priest (see Exodus 39:1 following).
(3) the garments of white linen for all the priests, worn in their regular ministrations (see Exodus 28:40-41).
But this ideal they were, in themselves, powerless to attain. The revelation at Sinai could only impress them with their need and helplessness. Another lesson the tabernacle, through its service of sacrifice, was to teach—the lesson of pardon of sin, and power through the Saviour for obedience unto life. Ed 36.1
Through Christ was to be fulfilled the purpose of which the tabernacle was a symbol—that glorious building, its walls of glistening gold reflecting in rainbow hues the curtains inwrought with cherubim, the fragrance of ever-burning incense pervading all, the priests robed in spotless white, and in the deep mystery of the inner place, above the mercy seat, between the figures of the bowed, worshiping angels, the glory of the Holiest. In all, God desired His people to read His purpose for the human soul. It was the same purpose long afterward set forth by the apostle Paul, speaking by the Holy Spirit: Ed 36.2
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17. Ed 36.3
Great was the privilege and honor granted Israel in the preparation of the sanctuary; and great was also the responsibility. A structure of surpassing splendor, demanding for its construction the most costly material and the highest artistic skill, was to be erected in the wilderness, by a people just escaped from slavery. It seemed a stupendous task. But He who had given the plan of the building stood pledged to co-operate with the builders. Ed 36.4
“The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.... And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee.” Exodus 31:1-6. Ed 36.5Read in context »
The Lord gave an important lesson to His people in all ages when to Moses on the mount He gave instruction regarding the building of the tabernacle. In that work He required perfection in every detail. Moses was proficient in all the learning of the Egyptians; he had a knowledge of God, and God's purposes had been revealed to him in visions; but he did not know how to engrave and embroider. CT 59.1
Israel had been held all their days in the bondage of Egypt, and although there were ingenious men among them, they had not been instructed in the curious arts which were called for in the building of the tabernacle. They knew how to make bricks, but they did not understand how to work in gold or silver. How was the work to be done? Who was sufficient for these things? These were questions that troubled the mind of Moses. CT 59.2
Then God Himself explained how the work was to be accomplished. He signified by name the persons He desired to do a certain work. Bezaleel was to be the architect. This man belonged to the tribe of Judah—a tribe that God delighted to honor. CT 59.3
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. CT 59.4
“And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wisehearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee.” Exodus 31:1-6. CT 59.5Read in context »
The sanctuary in heaven, in which Jesus ministers in our behalf, is the great original, of which the sanctuary built by Moses was a copy. God placed His Spirit upon the builders of the earthly sanctuary. The artistic skill displayed in its construction was a manifestation of divine wisdom. The walls had the appearance of massive gold, reflecting in every direction the light of the seven lamps of the golden candlestick. The table of shewbread and the altar of incense glittered like burnished gold. The gorgeous curtain which formed the ceiling, inwrought with figures of angels in blue and purple and scarlet, added to the beauty of the scene. And beyond the second veil was the holy Shekinah, the visible manifestation of God's glory, before which none but the high priest could enter and live. GC 414.1
The matchless splendor of the earthly tabernacle reflected to human vision the glories of that heavenly temple where Christ our forerunner ministers for us before the throne of God. The abiding place of the King of kings, where thousand thousands minister unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stand before Him (Daniel 7:10); that temple, filled with the glory of the eternal throne, where seraphim, its shining guardians, veil their faces in adoration, could find, in the most magnificent structure ever reared by human hands, but a faint reflection of its vastness and glory. Yet important truths concerning the heavenly sanctuary and the great work there carried forward for man's redemption were taught by the earthly sanctuary and its services. GC 414.2
The holy places of the sanctuary in heaven are represented by the two apartments in the sanctuary on earth. As in vision the apostle John was granted a view of the temple of God in heaven, he beheld there “seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.” Revelation 4:5. He saw an angel “having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” Revelation 8:3. Here the prophet was permitted to behold the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven; and he saw there the “seven lamps of fire” and “the golden altar,” represented by the golden candlestick and the altar of incense in the sanctuary on earth. Again, “the temple of God was opened” (Revelation 11:19), and he looked within the inner veil, upon the holy of holies. Here he beheld “the ark of His testament,” represented by the sacred chest constructed by Moses to contain the law of God. GC 414.3Read in context »
The command was communicated to Moses while in the mount with God, “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them;” and full directions were given for the construction of the tabernacle. By their apostasy the Israelites forfeited the blessing of the divine Presence, and for the time rendered impossible the erection of a sanctuary for God among them. But after they were again taken into favor with Heaven, the great leader proceeded to execute the divine command. PP 343.1
Chosen men were especially endowed by God with skill and wisdom for the construction of the sacred building. God Himself gave to Moses the plan of that structure, with particular directions as to its size and form, the materials to be employed, and every article of furniture which it was to contain. The holy places made with hands were to be “figures of the true,” “patterns of things in the heavens” (Hebrews 9:24, 23)—a miniature representation of the heavenly temple where Christ, our great High Priest, after offering His life as a sacrifice, was to minister in the sinner's behalf. God presented before Moses in the mount a view of the heavenly sanctuary, and commanded him to make all things according to the pattern shown him. All these directions were carefully recorded by Moses, who communicated them to the leaders of the people. PP 343.2
For the building of the sanctuary great and expensive preparations were necessary; a large amount of the most precious and costly material was required; yet the Lord accepted only freewill offerings. “Of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take My offering” was the divine command repeated by Moses to the congregation. Devotion to God and a spirit of sacrifice were the first requisites in preparing a dwelling place for the Most High. PP 343.3Read in context »
Those who have in hand the erecting of a sanitarium are to represent the truth by working in the spirit and love of God. As Noah in his day warned the world in the building of the ark, so, by the faithful work that is done today in erecting the Lord's institutions, sermons will be preached, and the hearts of some will be convicted and converted. Then let the workers feel the greatest anxiety for the constant help of Christ, that the institutions which are established may not be in vain. While the work of building is going forward, let them remember that, as in the days of Noah and of Moses God arranged every detail of the ark and of the tabernacle, so in the building of His institutions today He Himself is watching the work done. Let them remember that the great Master Builder, by His word, by His Spirit, and by His providence, designs to direct His work. They should take time to ask counsel of Him. The voice of prayer and the melody of holy song should ascend as sweet incense. All should realize their entire dependence upon God; they should remember that they are erecting an institution in which is to be carried forward a work of eternal consequence, and that, in doing this work, they are to be laborers together with God. “Looking unto Jesus” is ever to be our motto. And the assurance is: “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.” Psalm 32:8. 7T 94.1Read in context »